Terengganu produced a stunning comeback in the second half to shock favourites Johor Darul Ta'zim as they came back from 2-0 down to secure a 2-2 draw and ultimately qualify for the 2018 Malaysia Cup final with a 2-3 aggregate score.
Luciano Figueroa made changes to his starting line-up, electing to rest Fernando Elizari for the returning Fernando Marquez. Meanwhile Syafiq Ahmad was pushed to a wide left berth with Gonzalo Cabrera given the central attacking license.
JDT were the first to threaten when Kamal Azizi’s mistake in the 11th minute allowed Syafiq the chance to shoot at goal but Igor Zonjic came to the rescue with a well-timed block.
It was clear that referee Nazmi Nasaruddin would not stand for any time wasting in this second leg when he booked Terengganu’s keeper Suffian Rahman as early as the 15th minute for delaying his goal kick.
Terengganu were holding up well to JDT’s persistent pressure until an error in the 40th minute gave the home side the chance to go level in the tie.
Adib Aizuddin was adjudged to have pulled Safawi Rasid back inside the penalty box and the home side were awarded a penalty kick. Marquez made no mistake with the spot kick for JDT to take a half time lead.
Terengganu actually started the second half with more ball possession than they had in the first half but soon found themselves behind for the first time in the tie. In the 62nd minute, La'Vere Corbin-Ong collided with Tchetche Kipre at the halfway line but the referee waved play on and JDT proceeded to launch a quick counter attack.
Marquez's header bounced off the top crossbar but Safawi picked up the rebound and laid the ball off for Cabrera to produce a superb shot to the top right hand corner, which gave the diving Suffian no chance to save it.
But the game immediately swung back in favour of Terengganu when Lee Tuck and Kipre combined well for the latter to pull one back for the away side. The 2-1 score meant that Terengganu were leading on aggregate with the away goal scored in Johor Bahru.
The Southern Tigers threw on Hazwan Bakri, Nazmi Faiz and Syamer Kutty Abba but did little to change the scoreline despite the lion share of possession. In fact a quick break in added time saw Kipre advancing on goal and managed to put the ball past the advancing Farizal Marlias to make it 2-2 and effectively ended the tie as a contest.
Follow Goal Malaysia on Instagram